A joint venture project for producing high-strength and ultra-thin automotive sheets began operation on Thursday in Tangshan, North China's Hebei province. It is set to become the largest single-scale high-end auto sheet producer in the country.
The HBIS-POSCO auto sheet joint venture project was inked with an agreement between HBIS Group — one of the largest and longest established steel-makers in China — with South Korea's POSCO in June, 2021, according to HBIS Group, which is headquartered in Hebei's capital city Shijiazhuang.
The project kicked off construction in January last year with an investment of 4.125 billion yuan ($564 million).
The two steel giants each hold a 50 percent stake in the venture, which includes two new production lines in Tangshan for making world-leading continuous hot-dip galvanizing products.
The venture's annual production capacity reaches 1.35 million metric tons, and will provide low-carbon, green and lightweight material solutions for new energy vehicles and high-end brand automobiles.
As a landmark project in the transformation and upgrading of China's steel industry, the new products from the project will have higher corrosion resistance, and better welding and forming performance compared to traditional hot-dip galvanized auto sheets and similar products, according to the group.
Technical personnel in the group said that the products' thickness ranges from 0.3 to 2.3 millimeters with a width of 800 to 1,860 millimeters. The production lines are capable of producing sheets as wide as 1,860 millimeters, making them the widest GA (galvanized alloy) product in the domestic market.